Legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb, John Rich, Brett James, Rivers Rutherford and SONY/ATV Music Publishing were among the top honorees at the 2006 ASCAP Country Music Awards, held Oct. 23 in Nashville.

Legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb, John Rich, Brett James, Rivers Rutherford and SONY/ATV Music Publishing were among the top honorees at the 2006 ASCAP Country Music Awards, held Oct. 23 in Nashville. "Jesus, Take The Wheel" was named country song of the year.

The performing rights organization honored its own during its 44th annual awards presentation, which was held at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

One of the evening's highlights was a special tribute to Webb, the ASCAP voice of music award honoree. The three-time Grammy Award winner treated guests to a performance of three of his biggest hits: "By the Time I Get To Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "Galveston." The tribute also included a guest appearance by Glen Campbell, the singer of those songs.

Among the evening's top winners were James and Rutherford, who tied for songwriter of the year honors; Rich as songwriter/artist of the year; and Sony/ATV as publisher of the year.

Meanwhile, Dierks Bentley, Kristen Hall, Kerry Kurt Phillips, Monty Powell, Jeremy Spillman, David R. Turnbull IV, Gretchen Wilson and Craig Wiseman were among those honored for writing the most performed country songs of the last year.

Among the music publishers receiving multiple honors were BMG Songs, Cornman Music, Dimensional Music Publishing, EMI Music Publishing, Greater Good Songs, Hoosier Mama, Lanark Village Tunes, Major Bob Music, Mempherfield Music, Rich Texan Music, Sea Gayle Music, Stage Three Music, Universal Music Publishing, and Warner/Chappell Music Group.

As part of the event, Nashville mayor Bill Purcell declared Oct. 22-28 "Celebrating Songwriters Week."

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